Author Archives: Patrick Willcocks

What is Driving this Devolution Push

This is started out as a short post to get behind what is driving devolution to cities in England. It got a little too long. Apologies.  Well what is this all about; why is it happening and what can we expect from it. There is much talk about how centralised the UK’s decision making is […]

Is Birmingham a Digital Hotspot?

Is Birmingham a Digital Hotspot? Birmingham has designated itself as a Smart City and at the core of any smart city is its strength in the Digital economy. This post explores how the city compares to elsewhere in the UK and what is being done to strengthen this increasingly important economic sector/ engine for growth. […]

Progress on Birmingham’s Green Commission Vision

Birmingham’s Green Commission launched its Carbon Road Map in November 2013 and prior to that its vision in March 2013. This post highlights a report and presentation that went to the Connectivity and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Commission in March 2015 about the progress so far and the priorities for 2015. The covering report, which is brief, can […]

What is happening with Greater Birmingham’s Economy

The recent publicity around the growth of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull  – being the LEP with the highest GVA growth almost got me to write a post about the underlying reasons for its growth – (it is in draft but will it surface?) but I was diverted when I received an email from the […]

HSBC moves its UK headquarters to Birmingham; a well needed boost for the City’s Financial Sector

The news today that HSBC is moving its UK headquarters to the City is a much needed boost. The decision to take a lease on the Arena Central development with the potential of bringing 1000 jobs to the city is important for despite much of the hype about the sector in the city is has […]

Extra £22m Cycling Monies in Birmingham – What will it be buying

This is a straight lift from the Birmingham Newsroom site –  but I think it is worth sharing as it is a major slice of monies being put to changing Birmingham’s mobility habits. Main Corridors (£15m) – About half of the funding would cover high-quality ‘flagship’ routes on five main corridors, with a high degree […]

The Development of Policies Towards Cities in England in the last 10 years – (or so)

I am writing this as I have been asked to help organise a visit of Dutch policy makers who are keen to learn from our experience of  City policy in England and whilst I have lived through it and had an input into some of it – I couldn’t find a succinct summary of this […]

Birmingham’s Cuts – lets focus on Income Generation

Hardly a day went by  recently without me receiving a request via email/social media to sign a petition against one cut or another arising out of the consultation on Birmingham City Council’s budget proposals for 2015/16 (Proposals here). There is real concern over the cuts to Library Services – so there was a petition against […]

Kerslake underlines need for vision and strengthening the centre

This post was originally posted on the Chamberlain Files As the Birmingham Policy Community is launched, following hot on the heels of the Kerslake Review and today’s budget announcement, Patrick Willcocks assesses the need for better strategic co-ordination at Birmingham City Council. The Kerslake Review covered a lot of ground. I want to focus on […]

Evidence to support the need for a Combined Authority in the West Midlands

I wanted to dig deeper behind where the under performance in terms on nominal GVA per head in the West Midlands lies. My previous post has shown how Greater Manchester has overtaken the West Midlands – we need to understand where this is most apparent and then dig deeper into why? This post will focus […]

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